Define the objective:
To start the process or the journey I need to do 2 things: Define my goal (figure out where I’m going) and determine where I am (so I can create the roadmap). For right now defining the goal is easy: qualify for the PPC at the section qualifier August 7-8. After the event I will go into long-term goal setting with short term benchmarks, but for now there is a very clear and simple short-term goal. The big question now is, where am I?
Over the past 9 months I have spent very little time on the golf course. I made time over the past 2 weeks to get 2, 18-hole rounds in as well as 2, 9-hole rounds. My only focus was to play golf trying to score and see where I was. I kept tracked of every shot in Clippd, a software that is great for shot analysis and helping target your strengths and weaknesses. I took that data and started to create a roadmap for preparation over the next 5 weeks.
When it comes to scoring for me, it is clear where my practice focus needs to be. Driving and putting create the biggest variance in my scoring and have the most importance. When those two aspects of my game are at least solid, I tend to shoot very good scores. They are both areas where I can go a bit haywire as well. What is great about Clippd is that I can monitor my practice and results and make sure I'm going in the right direction.
Create the map:
Now that I have a baseline for where my game is, I can look at everything that goes into playing well and create a program/schedule to align with everything I need to work on. When I start this outline, the first question I ask myself is what would playing well look like? Below is a very short version of that breakdown.
After creating the goal and making sure it is SMART, I broke down everything I need to do well to make it possible. It's very easy to say I need to drive it well more consistently, but what goes into that.
This breakdown shows me everything I believe I need to work on over the next 5 weeks to give myself the best chance to play well. Each area has a plan for what I'm going to use/do, and what I'm focusing on. From there I have to prioritize each area, determine how much time each aspect needs and when/where I will work on each one.
There are 2 elements to the preparation that will not vary over the span of the 5 weeks: My mental and physical work. Both of these are easier to work into the schedule as I will do workouts in the mornings before the kids get up and the mental work in the evening after they go to bed and I'm back from night lessons. The mental and physical side of the game go hand in hand to me and are both necessities to play well.
To play competitive golf you need to be incredibly mentally tough as well as mentally flexible, rarely does everything go to plan. These skills are hard enough to develop in competition when you're playing a lot. Since I have had 4 competitive rounds in the last 9 months, I have a lot to of work to do to be mentally prepared. For this I'm using Dr. Bhrett McCabe's virtual program "Foundations of an Elite Mental Game." He is an incredible sports Psychologist who has put together some great virtual courses. I will be doing 1-2 modules a night, every night.
On the physical side I have to 2 main priorities: mobility and strength. To say I got sidetracked from working out when my busy season ramped up would be an understatement. Getting back into it, with this short of a timeline, I will be using a daily mobility program in conjunction with an in-season training program by Mike Carroll in his Fit-for-Golf app. Strength training 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) with a daily mobility program every day.
On the golf side, this week is focused on technique. Primary areas of focus are driver and long irons. In both areas the key is backswing work and start of downswing. I will post on Friday on my YouTube channel with an in-depth video of what I'm working on and how I practice it. The scheduling for this is much more challenging than the physical and mental work. My wife and I coordinate our work schedules so that one of us is always watching the kids. My days are pretty straight forward, I'm either at work or watching Lucy and Ford. For this week I have blocked an hour in my lesson schedule Monday, Tuesday and Friday where I can do my technical work. I also have time after night lessons at Suncoast to do an hour at 9pm on Wednesday and Thursday. With 5 hours to practice this week, it requires me to have the practice plan in place for each day before I get there so there is no wasted time.
After breaking everything down and looking through the schedules, I realized how challenging this will be. It is going to be a lot of work, and I can't tell how excited I am to get started. I have no idea how the result of it will end, but going through the process of it will certainly be rewarding.
If you have any questions about any of the tools I use feel free to reach out. I will also put together some links to them when I get a chance if you're interested in using any of them for yourself. I will let you all know how the week goes next Sunday night and what week 2 will look like.